As most of you know, Sprint is headquartered in Kansas, Overland Park, Kansas to be exact. Which is near downtown Kansas City. Now there’s a report out stating that Sprint is expected to be working in downtown Kansas City, Missouri on bringing free WiFi to the city as part of their “Smart City” Project. They’d be working with Cisco Systems. Currently, the project is projected to cost about $15 million over the next ten years. With Kansas City spending about $3.8 million and Cisco – along with their partners – spending another $12 million in the next decade. The Kansas City Business Journal noted that last week Kansas City Mayor Sylvester James announced a new ordinance which authorized City Manager Troy Schulte to enter an agreement with Cisco. It was back in May 0f 2014, that Cisco and Kansas City first announced plans to work together. And now, they have the mayor’s blessing, so to speak.
This ordinance from Mayor James is called the “Smart + Connected Communities” project, and it’ll be based around the 2.2-mile downtown streetcar line in Kansas City. The ordinance also says “In partnership with Sprint, a new public Wi-Fi network is proposed for downtown that will provide basic internet to visitors and residents of the neighborhood for free, helping the city meet its goals to be a more digitally inclusive city.”
According to a fact sheet that was handed out in Kansas City, this project will have no cost on the taxpayer, which means taxes won’t be going up. Definitely a good thing for those in Kansas City. The permit fees are being waived, according to the fact sheet, but it’s likely that will be passed along to the taxpayer. The “third party provider” will be responsible for keeping up the network, which in this case is Sprint.
As Fierce Wireless points out, it’s interesting to see a carrier partnering up for a smart city deployment. So far all the smart cities in the US, no carrier has partnered with the city to deploy internet. As we stated in the beginning of this article, Sprint’s headquarters are in Overland Park, which is just minutes from downtown Kansas City. It will be interesting to see what Sprint ends up doing here, and how this partnership works out for them. As well as for Cisco and the city of Kansas City.